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OR&R Weekly Report

The Office of Response and Restoration publishes this weekly round-up of news and information of interest to our partners, stakeholders, and team members. Click to subscribe

A small group of trainees poses together for a group photo aboard a boat.

JULY 22, 2024 — The commonly held belief that good things come in threes was evident this year when NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) followed up on the success of last year’s inaugural safety training by providing not one, but three Safety Academy training opportunities. Geared toward the continuous improvement and maturation of OR&R’s safety culture, this year took a more inclusive approach by offering safety training relevant to both field and office staff.

Discarded balloons littering a beach.

JULY 22, 2024 — On July 10, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the California Ocean Protection Council hosted an Ocean Litter Strategy webinar. Bringing together over 50 partners from across the state, the webinar reached a diverse set of sectors including state agencies, nonprofits, private organizations, and academia.

November 2023

NOAA's DARRP holds polluters accountable after natural resource injuries. (Credit: NOAA)

NOV. 15, 2023 — NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) is excited to announce the launch of the Coastal Recovery email newsletter! Subscribers will have access to semi-monthly news of interest delivered straight to their inboxes. This is a new way to stay in tune with work that NOAA and our co-trustees are doing that matters to you.

Bryand Duke, Ph.D. at the 2023 annual SREB Meeting.

NOV. 15, 2023 — OR&R’s Bryand Duke, Ph.D. served as a chair during the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) annual meeting which was held in Tampa, Florida on October 27, 2023.  SREB is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that works with 16 member states to improve public education at every level, from pre-K to Ph.D.

Team NOAA OR&R weighing in over 650 pounds of marine debris collected from a park in St Petersburg, FL (Credit: NOAA).

NOV. 15, 2023 — On November 4, OR&R team participated in the inaugural Tampa Bay Debris Derby hosted by Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, and Ocean Aid 360. The Debris Derby brought together Tampa Bay’s coastal residents, boaters, anglers, watershed groups, and industry partners to improve the local marine habitat and promote community awareness of marine debris.

2023 NAMEPA Marine Environment Protection Award (Government Agency), awarded to NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration. Image credit: NOAA.

NOV. 15, 2023 — On November 2, 2023, NOAA’s OR&R Director Scott Lundgren joined maritime and environmental protection colleagues at State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College at Fort Schuyler for the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA) conference and Marine Environmental Protection awards dinner.

NOAA Marine Debris Program Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, Katie Morgan, welcomes the Mid-Atlantic marine debris community to the workshop (Credit: NOAA).

NOV. 15, 2023 — On October 24, the NOAA Marine Debris Program coordinated a mid-Plan review workshop to discuss progress made on the Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Action Plan (Action Plan).

An OR&R training team guides a student field exercise, in which they practice their newly acquired Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) field skills. Image credit: NOAA

NOV. 6, 2023 — OR&R recently completed its final response training event of fiscal year 2023, providing training to over 2,300 emergency responders and planners over the course of the year.

Juvenile Chinook salmon. Salmon habitat will be restored as part of the proposed settlement. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

NOV. 6, 2023 — On November 2, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a proposed settlement valued at approximately $33.2 million to compensate for natural resource injuries that resulted from hazardous substance releases and oil discharges into the Willamette River and Portland Harbor in Oregon.

October 2023

OCT. 30, 2023 — On October 19th, 70 individuals from across NOAA joined millions of others worldwide from beneath their desks and tables, in celebration of International ShakeOut Day. Known as Shakeout Day, this annual event is held on the third Thursday of October and is the largest earthquake drill in the world.

Artwork by: Hazel P. (Grade 3, Florida). Image shows a person cleaning up a beach with the text "Keep our oceans clean."

OCT. 30, 2023 — On October 18, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Education Specialist, Alexandria Gillen, led a panel presentation at the North American Association for Environmental Education’s 2023 Virtual Conference titled “Reduce, Reuse, Reinvent: Perspectives on Zero Waste Schools Preventing Marine Debris.”

U.S. Coast Guard drone pilots operating a commercial drone controller from the Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin.

OCT. 30, 2023 — On October 20, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) released a short video highlighting a recently completed field training aboard the USCG Cutter Blackfin, in collaboration with the Great Lakes National Center of Excellence and OR&R, to advance oil spill response using uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). 

Artwork by Magdalene F. (Grade 8, Florida), winner of the Annual NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest.

OCT. 23, 2023 — Get your art supplies ready, because this year’s NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest officially opened on October 16! Students in grades K-8 from the United States and U.S. territories can submit their artwork now through December 15.

Initial isolation and protective action distances from a fictional spill shown on a map in the new CAMEO Chemicals 3.0.0. Image credit: NOAA.

OCT. 23, 2023 — The latest 3.0.0 version of the CAMEO Chemicals hazardous materials database is now available, and includes a new mapping tool to display initial isolation and protective action distances from the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).

Dr. Amy V. Uhrin presents at the final meeting of the EUROqCHARM project in Brussels, Belgium (Credit: SALT Norway).

OCT. 23, 2023 — During the week of October 9, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, attended and presented at the final meeting of EUROqCHARM.

A Coast Guard member watches the F/V Aleutian Isle being lifted onto a barge off San Juan Island on Sept. 21, 2022. Image credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

OCT. 16, 2023 — The Board of Directors of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) recently announced that NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration will be recognized with a NAMEPA 2023 Marine Environment Protection Award. 

OCT. 16, 2023 — On October 5-6, NOAA Marine Debris Program staff Andrew Mason and Hillary Burgess participated in a Microplastic and Marine Debris Workshop hosted by the Seattle Aquarium. The workshop brought together microplastics and marine debris community members from government, academic, nonprofit, and industry organizations based in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California.

Cover of the 2023-2028 Puerto Rico Strategic Plan to Reduce Aquatic Debris (Credit: NOAA).

OCT. 16, 2023 — On October 11, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) released the 2023-2028 Puerto Rico Strategic Plan to Reduce Aquatic Debris (Strategic Plan). This document, available in Spanish and English, is the result of a collaborative effort between the NOAA MDP, the U.S. EPA Region 2 and U.S.

American eel ascending a scaled-down eel ladder designed specifically for demonstration purposes. Image credit: Carl Alderson

OCT. 10, 2023 — On September 30, staff from OR&R's Assessment and Restoration Division and NOAA’s Restoration Center returned to SUBMERGE, New York City 's premier waterfront marine science festival. This year's event was held on a pier in Hudson River Park near the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. 

Several agencies and private industry participants around a table as part of the offshore wind spill exercise held October 2, 2023. Image credit: NOAA.

OCT. 10, 2023 — On October 2, 2023, the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC) for the Northeast accompanied representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Southeastern New England to a tabletop exercise hosted by Vineyard Wind in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A representative from the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement oversaw the drill that was facilitated by representatives from the National Response Corporation. 

A group photo including (from left to right): Meredith Moise, NOAA Fisheries; Frank Csulak, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration; Kate Sampson, NOAA Fisheries; Karen Frutchey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and Brian Stacy, NOAA Fisheries. Image credit: NOAA.

OCT. 10, 2023 — On September 21, 2023, the Marine Education Rehabilitation and Restoration Institute Inc. (MERR) hosted an Oil Spill Preparedness Workshop as part of their week-long 2023 Greater Atlantic Region Stranding Conference (GARSCON). 

The MV Ever Forward a large container ship at sea. After being stranded in the mud of the Chesapeake Bay on March 13, 2022, the vessel was finally pulled free on April 17. Image credit: NOAA.

OCT. 10, 2023 — On September 28, 2023, OR&R Regional Operations Supervisor Doug Helton conducted an evening seminar for the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), titled “Science Update: The Science of Oil Spill Response and Cleanup.” 

Participants from the Gloucester, Massachusetts SOS class, held the week of September 11, 2023, gather at a field exercise at Cape Ann. Image credit: NOAA.

OCT. 10, 2023 — Oil spill responders from New England to Hawaii attended a five-day Science of Oil Spills (SOS) training class in Gloucester, Massachusetts from September 11-15, 2023. 

SCAT class participants observe the trainer measuring oil found in a trench. Image credit: NOAA/Frank Csulak.

OCT. 10, 2023 — Three experienced groups—the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Atlantic Strike Team (AST), Clean Harbors Co-Op, and OR&R’s Emergency Response Division—co-hosted a SCAT (Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique) Team Member Training course from September 26-28, 2023.

NOAA Marine Debris Program Research Coordinator, Carlie Herring, presenting to the IJC Microplastics Monitoring and Risk Assessment Working Group (Credit: NOAA).

OCT. 2, 2023 — On September 12-13, 2023, the NOAA Marine Debris Program attended and presented at an International Joint Commission (IJC) workshop on developing a monitoring framework for microplastics in the Laurentian Great Lakes. The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, Haley Dalian, and Research Coordinator, Carlie Herring, participated in the workshop, which was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Hawaii Oil Spill Response Workshop participants —from Sri Lanka, the Maldives, USINDOPACOM, and NOAA—visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Image credit: USINDOPACOM.

OCT. 2, 2023 — OR&R’s Emergency Response Division assisted with a Hawaii Oil Spill Response Workshop, sponsored by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), held in Honolulu on September 18-22.

September 2023

NOAA staff stand at the bow of an airboat while the dredge pipe feeds the Long Point Bayou marsh restoration project with sediments from the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Credit: NOAA

SEPTEMBER 25, 2023 — OR&R’s Dan Hahn joined NOAA Restoration Center staff, along with Louisiana State Trustees on a September 14th site visit to the Long Point Bayou marsh creation project. The site visit was to assess the progress made on restoration that targets 392 acres of marsh creation as part of the actions to compensate the public for the lost natural resources resulting from the 2006 CITGO Slop oil spill into the Calcasieu River.

Participants from the "Nurdle Spills in Coastal and Marine Environments Workshop" (Credit: University of New Hampshire)

SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 — On September 6 and 7, staff from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration participated in a workshop sponsored by the Office and facilitated by the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center that explored what is known and uncertain about plastic pellets and what occurs when they are spilled into marine and coastal environments.

Ghost gear in Baja Sur (Credit: Edgar Lima and Ocean Conservancy).

SEPTEMBER 11, 2023 — On August 30, 2023, NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) Director, Nancy Wallace, participated in a Trilateral Government Roundtable on Ghost Gear, “Advancing Cooperation to Address Ghost Gear in North America.” Forty-three representatives from the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States attended this virtual roundtable. The Global Ghost Gear Initiative, an MDP partner and grantee through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement funding, hosted the event.

NOAA GOES-16 GeoColor Satellite Imagery of Hurricane Idalia on August 29, 2023 Image Credit: CIRA/NOAA

SEPTEMBER 11, 2023 — On August 28th, the National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) activated ahead of Hurricane Idalia. The NOS IMT, led by OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) with representatives from across NOS program and staff offices, coordinated response efforts and collected situational awareness. Team members reported information pertaining to any impacts to mission and personnel as well as infrastructure damage.